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Hackers spread malware via Yahoo ads

7/09/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Hackers who previously exploited vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash have now used advertising onYahoo's largest websites to distribute malware to billions, according to researchers at Malwarebytes. The technique, growing at an alarming rate, is facilitated when an  attacker tricks an automated ad network into delivering malware embedded in ads.

The attack, which reportedly began on July 28, took on Yahoo's ad network and leveraged Microsoft Azure websites to spread the Angler Exploit Kit onto the desktop PCs of unsuspecting site visitors, the researchers noted. The kit has seen its market share explode from 25 percent to 83 percent this year, according to Fraser Howard, a researcher at SophosLabs.

“With the pure scale and size of Yahoo, many people may have fallen victim to this attack,” Grayson Milbourne, security intelligence director at Webroot, told SC Magazine.

This, of course, is not the first instance of malvertising. Yahoo and AOL users were previously infected in January 2014, and Yahoo was hit with a similar attack again in October. Additionally, DoubleClick, Google's ad network, was attacked in September 2014, with a repeat in January.

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